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15 entries from February 2013

Is Your God too Small?: Three Radical Changes To BIG Hope

My precious friends, today I want to talk about hope. We’ve talked about hope in the past but we need to revisit this key area of our faith walk because without hope, we can’t have faith. Without Jesus, we can’t have grace. And Jesus is the one we need to place ALL our hope in so that we can "draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need" (Heb. 4:16). Let's be honest. We don't like pain. We've come to equate pain and discomfort with being "wrong" and "unproductive." For a long time I lived under the misconception that life would smooth out at some point, that the challenges would get easier as I got older, that overall, life would be easier and more manageable. In some ways that's true but not because life became... Read more →

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Conflict In Marriage - I Bet You Didn't Know THIS EITHER

On Friday I shared a story about how the enemy twists words in our marriage conflicts. Geeze, when I heard this it really made me mad. I can just imagine in the early years of my marriage how this could have and likely DID happen in our home. But what makes me even madder is the story I’m going to share with you today. Now my friends, I hope you get mad too. Because today we are about to reveal a tactic of the enemy he uses against us in marriage conflict. And as of today this ploy of evil will no longer hold power over us. In my discussion with friends about marriage conflict we talked about another way the enemy comes in to wreck your day. What I’d never considered is how the enemy will perpetuate anger. And you know why he will work so hard to do... Read more →

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Weekend Worship — Jehovah-Jireh, The Lord Will Provide

Yep, there it is. My "new" set of wheels. My dear friends, I've taken you on this car journey with me, first sharing my family's finanical challenges, the need to sell my "beloved" SUV, and then the search for another car. Nothing "magically" appeared but I consider God's provision in this whole scenario as pretty evident and well, just plain cool. My SUV sold in less than 12 hours, giving us much needed funds, and now I have this cute 2003 VW Beetle that reminds me of the little car I drove through high school and college. The pieces just fell into place as we found this little gem online and made a quick sale with an adorable young couple ready to part with it. Even the CarFax said it was a great buy! We kept to our budget and accomplished our goal. Thank you, Lord! So, all that to... Read more →

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Conflict In Marriage - I Bet You Didn't Know THIS

I heard the most astonishing story this past week. And as I’ve thought about it, I’m compelled to share it with you. I was engaged in a discussion with a few people about marriage. You can imagine this particular subject will come up often because I’m so fascinated by God’s design for marriage. The gist of the story was about conflict in marriage. What was fascinating is what one woman said about conflict with her husband. I’m going to share the story but I don’t remember it word-for-word so here is my adaptation. A husband and wife were in the middle of an argument. (In the Donovan house, this would be called a fight. A heated verbal exchange would be accurate around here.) Well as this exchange began to elevate between this woman and her spouse, the husband and the wife became completely at odds and couldn’t understand one another’s... Read more →

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Born to Create

I have a bone to pick. Something that has bugged me for years. It's not quite on topic with being spiritually mismatched but then again, this one change in your thinking could change every aspect of your life. Care to pick that bone with me? It's about creativity. For as long as I can remember I have loved to color, draw, illustrate, design and write. I've painted pictures and murals, crocheted more afghans and scarves than I can count and made several quilts. And I love to write. So yes, I'm an artist. I am creative. Guess what? You are too. What's that you say? You can't draw? I've heard that line before: "I can't even draw a straight line." (Yes, pun intended.) Or this one: "I don’t have a creative bone in my body." (That’s the bone we’re picking—yes, another pun. How could I resist?) Or how about this... Read more →

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A Marriage of Honor

So my friends, it’s been a tough week. On Friday morning I telephoned Dineen on her cell phone and said, “I need you to pray for me. I’m really sick and can’t seem to kick this cough. It’s one in the afternoon and getting into Kaiser (our healthcare provider) will be impossible at this late hour on a Friday afternoon. The weekend is then here and I’m traveling with my daughter to BIOLA on Monday for a college interview. I can’t get in to see a doctor before Tuesday.” Whining I say, “I need to get well.” My BFF, Dineen, was out and about at that moment and said as soon as she arrived home she would call me back and pray with me. I hung up. I prayed myself, “Lord, heal me. Lord, heal me. Lord, just heal me.” I’m betting some of you have been in such a... Read more →

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Weekend Worship — God is Our Victory and He is Here!

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, 4 who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. — 2 Corinthians 1:3-4 My friends, how are you doing? How has your week gone? What are you struggling with right now? I shared last week that I would have to sell my car. I was sad to see it go, but after a few tears I was able to praise God for bringing us a quick sale at a fair price—exactly what I had prayed for. Now I'm praying for a little used car to get the job done. LOL! I'll keep you posted on that one. My God is the God who provides and He... Read more →

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We are Equipped!

As we walk in our faith, God continually puts a call on our hearts to be more like Jesus. It's a mystery we will walk through our entire time here and is part of God's Kingdom come here on Earth and is part of God's great plan. The mystery is that people who have never heard of God and those who have heard of him all their lives (what I've been calling outsiders and insiders) stand on the same ground before God. They get the same offer, same help, same promises in Christ Jesus. The Message is accessible and welcoming to everyone, across the board. This is my life work:helping people understand and respond to this Message. It came as a sheer gift to me, a real surprise, God handling all the details. When it came to presenting the Message to people who had no background in God's way, I... Read more →

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Monday Morning Update

Good Monday Morning Everyone, My friends, forgive me for being a little out of the loop. I wasn’t able to be involved in the comments as last week I was really sick. I spent most of the week in jammies on the couch. I think I may have coughed up a lung at one point, but, I’m feeling a little better this week and today I have a ton to catch up. So if you emailed me, be patient, I will get back to you. On a different note. Dineen and I received some letters in the mail from some of you last week. They were deeply touching and I know both Dineen and I cried when we read them. Thank you and Ro and Teresa T. I’m thinking you were behind this. THANK YOU!!!!! This is an amazing community and the richness of love and fellowship is not ordinary... Read more →

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Weekend Worship — Praying On Our Armor

We're reaching the end of our spiritual warfare series, my friends, and I can't think of a better way to punctuate all we've learned than praying on our armor of God. Join me in prayer and then let's praise God for His outlandish and extravagant love for us. Ephesians 6:10-18 Lord, we are strong in You and Your mighty power. We put on our full armor of God, so that we can take our stand against the devil’s schemes. Remind us daily that our struggle isn’t against our spouse, our children, our family, our friends, our jobs, our situations, our neighbors, the strangers we meet or even our government. The battle is truly against the rulers, authorities and powers of evil present in this world and in heaven, against satan and his demons working to steal, kill and destroy us. So today and everyday from now on I put on... Read more →

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The Beautiful but Dark Gateway

I left you earlier in the week with a scene from our kitchen table. My daughter had experienced a supernatural and scary encounter. But, you know as I think upon this, my heart soars… You know why? This 17 year old kid KNEW what to do. Somewhere, somehow, I’ve equipped her with enough to go into battle. What really bugs me is that I had to equip her when she was five years old. “Mommy.” She came to me in her princess pajamas and rubbing her eyes. “Mommy, last night on my bed I saw red eyes that were in my stuffed animals. It scared me mommy.” Good GRIEF!!!!! I clearly remember this and I also remember that I believed her. Our kids need us to believe them. Children are told there is no such thing as the boogie man and sent back to bed, defenseless and vulnerable. They hid... Read more →

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Weary of the Battle?

I firmly believe that any man's finest hour, the greatest fulfillment of all that he holds dear, is that moment when he has worked his heart out in a good cause and lies exhausted on the field of battle—victorious. — Vince Lombardi My friends, today I want to speak to those of you who are in the thick of battle and are tired. I've received several emails to this effect and I'm carrying each of you close to my heart right now, like a friend cheering you on from the sidelines. You're tired—tired of the battle, the fight—tired of praying and seeing nothing change. Are you in this place, my precious friend? What if I told you the battle is always fiercest right before the end? What if I told you your victory is just around that last corner that you can't quite see yet? Would you keep fighting? Would... Read more →

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The Battle For Your Kids

Last night my daughter looked up from the kitchen table where she was working on homework. I'd just sat down in the family room to watch the news recorded our on DVR. It was late in the evening as I arrived home from an evening Bible study and she from drama rehearsal. “Mom, the bed shaking started again a few nights ago.” I hit pause on the DVR, “Caitie did you pray against it.” “Yes, mom” her eye-roll was evident. Okay here is the part where I launch into a lecture about how to pray, thus the eye-roll. She interrupts, “Mom, I don’t need the lecture. I know what to do.” “Why do you think this started after it’s been so long?” “It started the night when I watched that scary movie at the theater.” Okay, my friends, there is so much in this short conversation that I don’t even... Read more →

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Weekend Worship — God Makes Beautiful Things

We've had an emotional week here in the SUM community, my friends. I have read your comments, prayed over them and at times I have cried as I read the outpouring of your precious hearts. So I wanted to do something special for today. I prayed for God to lead me to just the right song, got in my car yesterday and when this song came on the radio, I knew God was telling me this was the one. I smiled and whispered a sweet thank you to Him. He loves us so much, my friends. He made you beautiful and God doesn't do shoddy work! You are a work of art! Love you with the passion of Jesus! Dineen Read more →

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God Knows Your Name

My friends, I have just loved reading all your comments on Wednesday’s post! You are so fired up and ready for battle. I told you I had something special for you today. This is the other side of our warrior armor and is grounded in the heart of our Precious Lord, our Abba Father, who adores us. First, I have to set the stage and share something that happened to me Monday because as I walked through it, God told me to share one part specifically with you. I woke up Monday morning and went into my quiet time a bit unsettled. I know God is working some stuff out in me but I’ll be honest, I wanted to run away and hide. God said clearly to me, “I have a work to do in you.” Okay, when God says something like that to you, do you want to tell... Read more →

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